My fiancée’s go-to story whenever she wants to embarrass me in front of friends is about an experience at the Village Inn hotel in Napa Valley, Calif. The room wasn’t cheap, but the concierge had me at “giant bathtub.” He also promised lavender bath salts. When we got to our room, we rejoiced at the sight of the tub, which was giant. Then I began cursing violently and snatched up the phone to report the absence of the lavender salts. Ha-ha-ha! If that one goes over well, which it invariably does, she’s prone to follow it up with the tale of how a few weeks back I was suckered into spending $40 at the Lush store on lower Broadway when the saleslady mentioned that a “citrus wedge” worked well in a “bath cocktail” comprised of a bath “bomb” and a “melt.”
The truth is, I only recently discovered my passion for bathing. It all happened when I moved into the lovely lady’s apartment and discovered a tub five feet long and two feet deep. Previous to that, I had been dealing with a converted closet shower in the kitchen of my studio apartment on East 10th Street.
My relationship with the porcelain behemoth has been one of pure pleasure. My time in the tub is productive, both psychically and physically. Sometimes I read in there. I jot notes! I crack the window to get a cool breeze going.
It is only when I get out of the tub that the drawbacks present themselves, in the form of social scorn. Why is it that women have long been able to enjoy the bath, but for the man-beast it has been deemed an indulgence?
One can only hope the onslaught of luxury tubs in fancy apartments will produce a batch of new male converts, and the wisdom behind a glorious soak will trickle down, as it were, to the sweaty masses.